May the End of School, Book Signings, Cosplay, Sewing, and Anniversary Be With You!

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20083 Weather: Raining and thundering like crazy off and on all day

Working on: HA! Where to begin…? Odds and ends for around the house cleaning, organizing school stuff, and bills, final school work, edits for my Spirit Vision 3 bonus feature, updating my website, a little con planning, and, oh yeah! Recalling it’s summer! LOL!

Currently Watching: Derrick and I just are halfway through re-watching The Legend of Korra, season 4. We are still watching the newest Sailor Moon: Crystal episodes. I just finished season 1 of the  magical girl Fate anime, am going to finish The Comic Book Artist and His Assistants today, then re-watching all of the Magic Knights: Rayearth anime for cosplay research.

Currently Reading: I have a manga and a half to finish today to get my May manga goal, “The Trails of Apollo,” that Derrick got me for an early anniversary gift! MAN! It is a gem! Uncle Rick, you did it again! xD

Currently Playing: I never got to get super far in the GBC Pokémon: The Trading Card game for mine was glitched, so I downloaded it on my 3-DS for $7 a few months ago.  MAN! The pre-made deck I have is not good at all and I’m losing to all these rookie trainers! >.<

Wallpaper: Archer from Fate Stay/Night, wielding his two swords and looking epic as usual!

Icon: I rewatched the re-dubbed classic “Sailor Moon,” season 1, not too long ago (FYI: Johnny Yong Bosh as Artemis was too wonderful for words!), so I went with an old school Sailor Moon icon and since it IS summer, ice cream is a must! 😀

Quote: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.-” Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Hey Pokémon masters, book nerds, outstanding otakus, and relieved school teachers! School is out for summer and…I still have a crabstick ton of work to do! xD Nevertheless, I will find ways to enjoy myself! I hope everyone is having a grand time so far!

 “WWPPP: World of Writing, Publishing, Promotions, and Paper Crane List!” ^-^

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#1. Thank you for being so patient everyone, but the wait is now over…“Fallen Star Dust,” is now in E-BOOK format! =D A copy of my latest collection in any e-format will be $2.99 (a copy of the paperback is $10.00).  You can get it for your Nook, Kindle, I-device, and other e-book readers. You can get your copy from several retailers and a list of all these retailers (for both formats) are on my heavily updated “Fallen Star Dust” book page! ^_^

Also, to go along with this, Paper Crane has added a few more retailers for you to get your book fix! 😀 So, my “Spirit Vision,” book page, “Spirit Vision 2: New Beginnings,” book page, AND “A Sweet, Little Dream,” book page.  I tweaked/bettered for format and added a review to the “New Beginning” page.

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#2. UPDATE ON “SPIRIT VISION 3!” We are doing something different this time: I have decided that for my second edits, I will use Beta Readers. Beta Readers read a book, looking for flow issues, mechanics, and rating the work for audiences before the book is released. This gives the author time to change things if necessary to make it successful. I have to admit, this is nerve-wrecking and I have some tough-love readers, but it will be an experience.  Several modern writers haves used Beta Readers, so, here is goes for me! ^_^

Right now, they are Beta Reading the bonus feature for “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals,” and yes, it does take time with the type of feature it is. It will be tricky, but I am going to try to finish my first edits for the manuscript of the main book by the end of July, so my Beta readers can have two months to read and comment on it.  Then, a month of final edits and then formatting, so my plan is to have “Spirit Vision 3,” released at the end of October, just in time for Halloween! ^_^ Wish me luck!

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#3. This month, I joined with Enchanted Books Promotions, the group who set-up my “Spirit Vision 2: New Beginnings tour,” to be a tour spot for the blog tour of the YA author, Reuben Miles, and his latest work, “The Boy who Spoke to Stars.” Stars AND my brother’s name?! I knew it was fate! ^_^ He wrote a wonderful guest post for the tour stop about how stars inspired him and his work. I look forward to more partnerships with Enchanted Books Promotions in the future!

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#4. For my Aspiring Author Spotlight post in April, I asked my writing buddies from school, Morgan W and Kate, and my amazing friend Casey, to give me their progress on their woks for April’s Camp Nano (through Nanowrimo) and moments they wanted to share. You can check out this spotlight here. It includes a SNEAK PEEK from my latest manuscript that is NOT “Spirit Vision” as well! 😉 I also got to help the middle school writing club a bit and have more fun with girl’s writing day. Looking forward to more this summer.

Come back next week, June 6th, for my May Author’s Gold segment (A.U.) with friend and author, Dan Wright, and an excerpt from his latest work, the re-release of “Trapped in Draconica.”

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#5. THREE Top Ten’s to catch you happening peeps up on: Top Ten Sailor Moon attacks, Top Ten Manga that Need to be Turned into an Anime, AND Top Ten Oriental Singers/Groups! Let the fun begin! ^-^

#6.  We are still on the search for a narrator for “Spirit Vision!” If you are or know anyone who has experience or a talent for voice acting/narration, please contact me at mescomnick@hotmail.com for information. We really want to bring “Spirit Vision” verbally to life.

#7. Summer Writing: My summer writing will be made-up of edits for “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals,” and its bonus feature so we can make our October deadline, but I HOPE to write more of my other work that I began during November. Still, some form of ‘writing’ will be involved with me this summer.

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#8. In ‘horror’ of my defeat at the hands of Dan in our “Disney Couples: Reshuffled” event we did back in March, we did a Disney Song Challenge! Dan started off with three points since he had three couples in the final four and I only had one (I had no points), but we could get a point either by saying the title of the song, the film it was from, AND/OR, the first few lines of the song, so, up to three points per round. We each chose some karaoke tracks for the other of animated Disney movies and let the contest begin! Let’s just say…the results are interesting! xD You can watch/listen to the whole Disney Song Challenge now!

Dan and I have both been exceedingly busy with work, but we are recording a new Top Ten for you guys this Sunday. It should be up on Moon Panda Power very soon and we will continue to add videos over the summer, so please check those out, share, subscribe, and love! ^__^ We just did one on our top 5 each favorite animes! The first one should be out at the end of next week. =)

#9. April and May were busy months for me book wise! I had many book events:

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      • My first one was April 28th, where I went to the Villainous Grounds comic book store and coffee shop in a town about forty minutes from mine.  My buddy Andrew went with me in his beloved and famous Deadpool attire and I as Sailor V.  They are wonderful, kind people, and the shop is darling in every way! =) I was upstairs in the Mad Hatter tea room (the coffee shop is downstairs and the shopping upstairs, but you can have your coffee and desserts, all delish by-the-by, upstairs in that room).  It sadly was very rainy that day and an unusual slow day even though they advertised heavily.  I still met some grand people, some for books, some for the cosplay.  I took pictures with many kiddos, two little boys knowing I was Sailor V, not Moon! o.0 It made my heart swell! I nerded out, inspired a shy cosplayer to wear her outfit, and had a great time with Andrew and the staff.  I did sell four books and some other book products. My Sailor V costume was on three Facebook profile images of parents for a while and I even got an e-mail from a 13 year old who read my book and adored it, her mom thanking me heavily. 🙂  Every event is eventful and a good experience and what a fun one this was! <3 I can’t wait to go back! OH! I sold one of my new Pokémon hair flowers too! YEAY!
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      • I went back to Villainous Grounds the next Saturday for their May Fest and it was the shop’s first ever Free Comic Book Day. I dressed in my new cosplay: Umi from CLAMP’s Magic Knights: Rayearth. No one knew who I was, but I got some smiles and my cape was so fun blowing in the wind. This time, my bestie, Evan, went with me! =) I helped at the shop for about two hours, opening doors, directing people, locating which free comic book they wanted, and talking to customers, some recalling me from my book signing (even though I was in a blue wig).  Sadly, I had to leave early for I was feeling ill. 🙁 Evan and I did check out the fairgrounds and the booths before we left and we did ride the Tilt-A-Whirl twice, our favorite ride that you never see at our Country Days any more! He also won me a little green dinosaur and got me six wooden roses. <3 Our conversations was always a blast: from ‘honeymooning’ through a town with like a church and three houses and an RV park that came out of no where, then was gone, Bible stories, quoting RWBY and theorizing season 4, and just being awesome! Andrew/Deadpool was there as well (we even danced once), borrowing my pink unicorn, Phillip, my frilly pink apron, a jacket and top hat, and a tutu, all for fun! He is now apart of this fantastic group called Heroes for Autism. People dress-up as superheroes (the leader, Mr. Lonnie, is a wonderful Superman and Gambit), and they interact with kids, pose for pictures, sell and raffle things, go to Relays for Life, kids birthday parties, and such, all to raise money for autism and it is great! They have asked me to join, but manga is not really a super hero, still, I support them any way I can. So does Villainous Grounds. It was a successful day for the shop, the heroes, and fun to help out a little and test my cosplay with my bestie in tow! ^_^ Evan won me the little dinosaur below (I named him Greenie and when we went into Gamer’s Bazaar to get Pokémon cards once we got back into our town, Waffles, the dog, kept being cute, but trying to steal Greenie!) He also got me wooden roses. 🙂
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      • On May 11th, I returned to my beloved FMS to do my third annual book tour in the library, ran by the incredible Mrs. Kate. I only had a few groups sign up, but I still saw many kids, got to work on some needed school data, window shop with Kate for library supplies, eat lunch with Kate and Morgan, and talk to many students who came in to see me about anime and such. These students were…gems! Not only were they well-behaved for young teens, half even listening right away when I said “criss-cross, applesauce” like I do to my little ones, but their questions were grand, they were so attentive, interactive without being too goofy, and I could tell they had fun. I had several come up to me, asking me to sign the back of my business card for them, asking me writing and nerd questions, laughing, smiling, and thanking me. I got hugs, a dozen tell me I inspired them with honesty in their eyes (a few popping in to see me throughout the day), and four e-mails from students a few days later, some for writing, one for an anime question.  It was one of the best days I have had this year; I had a blast and I felt like I provided a service to these kids. Yes, I am not super famous as a writer yet and I know I am not the best, but I will never give up because, I write now, for them as much as myself.
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      • About a week later, on May 17th, after school, I got to be apart of the FMS end of the year Extravaganza event, where they show art, science projects, snacks, the book fair, and more! I wasn’t expecting to sell much here because, and I mean this nicely, middle school students are very forgetful. I only sold 3 books and some odds and ends last year, and it was all to one person. Plus, it was super rainy outside. But, I got to play with Kate’s adorable kiddos and that was worth it. ^-^ Still, after a slow start, I was amazed that by the end of the night, I sold 11 books, a bracelet (only have 2 left now), 2 posters, two buttons, and some bookmarks! Many of the students remembered I was coming and asked their lovely guardians for money or had their own. I was able to talk to a good handful about anime and manga (a gaggle of four girls squealing when I told them how I met J. Michael Tatum and Vic last October and their pride that I could make jokes about the Death Note). I got to hand out at least six to seven flyers too for the anime night I am co-running with the public library in June and they all flipped out! All-in-all, it was a blessed and rockin’ event!

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    • On May 28th, after sadly a rough night with hernia pain, I had my long awaited second book signing at my public library. I arrived at 10:15 to set-up my big meeting room and get familiar with their high-tech set-up, all the workers there super kind.  At 11:30, I dressed in one of my Chinese outfits, did my hair like I did for Chinese New Year, and wore a red hood and cape (Socks in a woven basket) to read, “Little Ninja Red Riding Hood” and later, I undid my hair and tied it in front of my face for “Moose-tache.”  I only had two little pre-school age girls with a bound of energy, but their families were super nice and I am glad they had such spirit. ^_^ I had my book signing from 1 to 3:30.  Tabby came at 12:30 to hang with me for a bit, Jolleen (my mother-in-law) at 1, and my dad around 2:30.  It was nice to have such support! I made all my sales and meet-and-greets, but one within that first hour. I sold 11 books and have 2 on reserved (I had to re-order more), am now officially sold out of all my unique bracelets my friend Sherry made me two years ago, am sold-out of all my chibi buttons, and I even sold some Pokémon hair flowers and good luck charms! So, I did pretty good here as well considering and I knew a good handful of people that came in. It was fun. 🙂 At 4:00, I did a presentation for writing. I only had four people come, but there were serious about being writers someday.  It was a good time. I hope I educated them somehow. My dad said he was impressed with it, which means a lot. It was a great experience and I cannot wait to work with them again
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That was the last of the major book signings I have planned. I may try to do some more. 😉

#10. My “Links” page is updated with two local authors! 🙂

#11. My “To Be a Nerdy Otaku” page is updated with the current anime and manga I have finished.

#12. I will still be working on getting my E-bay page updated AND thinking about setting up an Etsy page for the Pokémon products I am making along with my “Spirit Vision,” bookmarks and more. ^_^ Stay tuned for that!

Con Review Alert:

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On April 16th, my good buddy Andrew and I went to Cape Comic Con (a large city about 90 minutes south of us). Andrew does a fantastic Deadpool, costume, voice, personality, randomness, and love for his fans. His goal is to be a pro-Deadpool cosplayer one day.  He asked if I would attend with him for the Saturday, and I was honored too. In tow with my Sailor V cosplay, we headed off early. He introduced me to the Villainous Grounds crew (the owner and her youngest daughter, also named Morgan, had a booth there) and I ended up getting a Sebastian POP figure there (they have an anime and manga section). We took some funny photos, got some coffee, and set off!

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Here is my review/summary of our experience:cape83

So, what did we do? Well, there really wasn’t many panels going on, but they had a HUGE vendor and artist room, over 70! It was too crowded sadly, but there was a good verity and everyone there was really nice. ^_^ I DID get to chat with five authors, discuss writing with them and exchanging business cards (I added their companies and a few of the other venders to my links page).  I even will get to do a book exchange with two authors sometime this summer! =) That was incredible to me! I felt badly they were all spread out and the artist too. I felt like they should have had a row of authors and a few of artists and then everyone else together. That way, people can navigate easier and there was plenty of room to do this. Villainous Grounds did well at their section! Yes, I did buy some things: beadies mostly (I have issues, but I did get something I am SUPER PROUD OF! It is below) AND I got to meet the actor who played Eddie Munster in the classic show, “The Munsters!” He was such a chill, kind gentleman.  ^^ He was confused on why I asked him to hold Artemis (Sailor V’s cat companion), but he did anyway. I am very proud of my photo of him and grandpa, signed of course.

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There were a lot of unique cosplays and I got some glorious photos! Andrew got asked over 130 times to get pictures taken with him. He got proposed to three times and got some gifts and stalkers. =D He got a balloon Deadpool with little balloon swords. Some girls got him a handmade Pinky Pie from My Little Pony plush hat with a built-in-scraf that has built in pockets. It was about…$45. 0.0 Andrew also bought a Hello Kitty hat and I let him carry my Hello Kitty swag tote; everyone loved this. =^-^= He even gave his rose he got from a Belle to a girl who was having her birthday that day. Her darling little face was so red with delight! The parents were beaming, taking pictures, and the littlest girl was staring at me (I was bent down to adjust my stocking).  She then hid behind her dad and she refused to take a photo with me. It then dawned on me: she was one of my kindergarten students! 0.0  I asked her if she knew who I was and she whimpered, telling everyone I was her library teacher! >.< I was in a blonde wig and mask and she recognized me! She refused to even LOOK at me for a whole week! I was so embarrassed, although her parents thought it was rockin! We re-met some friends from Max Con and former FHS classmates.

cape86We danced A LOT, for over an hour in the intersection of the two vender rooms by the ticket table (it was the coolest), we took some goofy pictures with each other and I got to meet the wonderful family in charge of the “Heroes for Autism” program Andrew is apart of.  We were giving business to Villainous Grounds table as well. Andrew also gave away a hand-knit Deadpool to a winner and would model any product that was Deadpool to promote the tables. I got to meet some Moonies and lots and lots of adorable kids! Andrew is so good with kids, even letting them hit Deadpool. One got his face pretty good though…0.o Many parents complimented us on how good we were with kids, making them smile. I got about 80 plus photos taken with me or of me, which was super impressive (only a few knew I was Sailor V, but most of the kids just thought I looked cool ^_^).  When we were not looking at items, talking to people, getting stalked or photographed, or fanned over, we would just walk around the vender rooms (a few times in the other room), interacted with people, were goofy, and singing whatever we wanted (Andrew and I were in song sync like 1/3 of the time, which was amazing).  He had a catch phrase: “That’s how I do, ah, that’s how I do!” I was saying that for three weeks afterwards, because I would follow and repeat after him.  We were there for about six hours. Yes, they did have a cosplay contest, but it was way too hard to get through the lobby.

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OH! Deadpool eating a hot dog with his mask on was interesting, especially with high school kiddos giggling, snapping pictures, and commenting on how they are going to edit it by us. We got a few chuckles out of it later. ;)-

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So, how did it fair as a con? Well, Andrew and I would give it about a 5 or 6/10.  There just was not a lot of panels or other activities beyond shopping and cosplaying. For families, there target audience, it was a great way to get your nerd on if you have little ones or are not a hard-core nerd, but for us, it was okay. I already discussed my issues with the vender’s room arrangements and crowdedness; that messed up the atmosphere for us at times.  It was near impossible to move around and it was not overly crowded often! I suppose I like a little bit of everything in all I do: teaching, writing, conventions, that way everyone is included in some way. The venders either were really reasonably price or super pricey, but that can be anywhere. I did like how they interacted with us and went with the flow. The community was pretty fabulous.  And we agree they need a bigger venue or to use all of the building.

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Thank you Cape Comic Con for allowing us to express our weird-selves to the max (Andrew got me out of my shell a lot this day).  You gave me some great items, new friends, and wonderful memories! Anytime I can cosplay, be with one of my dear friends, and meet others fans and make kiddos smile, it is a win! 😀

More fun pictures are at the end of this post and there are some more on my Author Facebook page too.

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Normal Life:

In early April, we had our fourth Girl’s Writing Day. It was a cheese fest, since I just got diagnosed with my chest hernia, so my diet had to change a lot. Thank gosh I can still eat cheese! I got to work on my new story, the one that is in the sneak-peek on my April Aspiring Author Spotlight.  It is always a thrill to hang out with Kate and Morgan W; they are the best writing and nerd and lovely friends I could ever ask for! 😀

I got to in late April go to the middle school’s Anime Club (Morgan W is the staff sponsor for it), on the day of their cosplay contest. It was so kawaii with how the students were trying to set it up! They were super giggle, would walk onto the stage super fast, and there was no music. Almost all of the cosplays were closet, but it was still darling. ^_^ I was the guest judge. One clever boy was Light from Death Note and he winked at me to get himself brownie points. I rolled my eyes (OH! I WAS IN MY SAILOR V COSPLAY AND THEY LIKED HOW MUCH DETAIL THEY HAD) and told him, “Honey, that’s not going to work on me; I’m already married.”  He got out his Death Note notebook and flipped his hair, asking all smoothly, “Okay, but, out of curiosity…can I ask your husband’s name?” I was so impressed and laughing so hard that I did give him some extra points! Even Derrick said that was good. xD They then went outside and played a game like “duck, duck, goose,” called “apple, apple, shinigami.” But, I not only taught them the word for apple (ringo), but what a shinigami really was and then they changed it to spirit, sort of freaked out! HA! It was a nice experience and I am so thrilled these kiddos have a place to nerd out, some I did not have until college.

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School was pretty busy the last two months. We had our usual MAP testing at elementary, but it did not affect me too much, numerous field trips, but several got canceled due to all the rain, to the dismay of our students (many of our field and fun days did too). We had food days for teacher appreciation week the first week of May (this was also my third book fair, a Buy-One, Get-One Free).  I had many fantastic volunteers and we made $2,600, which is great for a BOGO, all the money we raised to help with next year’s school budget! I also got to order over 160 new books for Truman next year! ^_^ I bet the students will be thrilled. I had to finish popcorn parties for the winning class for the coin charity challenge, cleaning my spaces, the library website update, library and tech meetings, data recording for keyboarding, making end of the year posters for each of my buildings to thank them, get all our missing books collected or fines accounted for, inventory for the library (where I had to scan each book), and I was in charge of the duck pond carnival game at kindergarten’s fun day and, man! My voice was shot afterwards and I got wet! I still need to go in and process some of the new books that are trickling in for next year, but I am thrilled with what was accomplished and so proud of these students, especially seeing my second graders get reading awards and some of my fourth graders working hard at their annual talent show. =) They will go far! Thanks for a great year, fiends!

I also got many pictures and some cards from students and parents, including a $20 Pizza Hut card, a $10 Wal-mart card, some candy, and a free Applebee’s molten cake dessert card! <3 I felt really loved!

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We did have a tragedy hit our elementary school: one of our second graders, named Makenna, lost her fight with cancer. She had been fighting so hard in her little life. I only worked with her a few times, but I knew one of her siblings from keyboarding. It really affected our community hard. I want to send a prayer to her beautiful soul and her family.  Rest now, sweet one.

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Well, speaking of school…It looks like the ‘cat’ is out of the bag…It will not be official until June 8th (as long as there is no issue), but as of then, I will be an employee of the Fredericktown school district! It is a smaller, but proud and caring school district in my state, about 30-40 minutes away from where I live.  I had an interview for the position I have now, but I was their second choice (which still is good, I know).  That was in March. Well, the week before school let out, I got a call from the school’s principal, him informing me someone else has transferred from his building, so they moved the first choice into that slot and he offered me the slot I had originally interviewed for! It was…the hardest decision so far in my life. I have been trying for five years to get a job in the hometown I love so much, and have done numerous things for them, but I always got over-looked. I even got three interviews for three different positions with my hometown this year, but never got picked. The only reason was I did not have teaching experience.  But, the age old questions: how do you get that experience? I have my two degree fields for teaching (working on a third) and my state teaching license and have been teaching in the classroom in some format for over seven years, but I have gotten aide pay and status for five years. Do I want to leave my lovely library and precious kindergarten and pre-school students? No, but I need to prove I deserve teaching status, income, and my own classroom. ^_^ I have heard many fantastic things about my new district, so, other than the drive and trying to meet new people, I am looking forward to this new adventure.

I will work at the early childhood (kids ages six to seven) teacher at their alternative school. These kiddos need a lot of love and support and they believe I am the person to do just that. 🙂 The school also has a small library that they want me to make wonderful AND a mascot dog that lives outside and gets lots of treats and affection: a three-legged dog named Tripod. He is so sweet. ^.^ It looks like plushy Socks and I are getting our claws next school year so we can be Blackcat ready! 😀 At least my school colors are still the same, lol!

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Since I was sick with my hernia around my brother Miles’ birthday, at the end of April, my mom got him a special treat: a big-screen showing of the entire first season of R.W.B.Y. in St. Louis! It was on a Wednesday evening, which was odd and I was so tired the next day, but, I have to admit, it was epic! He was quoting the whole thing! There were some cosplayers, and a sneak-peek of the first episode of the new series, “RWBY CHIBI” on the movie theater screen! I forgot how funny the one-liners were.  I was astounded by how quiet the crowd was except for the humorous parts. Poor mom fell asleep during the whole thing.  Before that, we walked down the parking lot to a fancy Italian restaurant. I love my pastas and cheese bits, but everything was smothered in fancy olive oil and it was not good at all, but pricey! I DID meet an awesome waiter, who turned out to be a champion level Pokémon handheld player and we exchanged friend codes! Even though I did not get home until late, it was great. They announced at the showing that they were going to do one of those for the other two seasons of RWBY; Miles told mom to be prepared… -_-;; And yes; we both wore our RWBY shirts and sock caps.

aprilpoke1We had two Pokémon events since the last update: the April one was very small and just a normal spring event, with just six of us crew members and a dozen trainers, but it was a fun time. The 18th of April was Nathan and Tabby’s first year wedding anniversary, so Julie and I planned and gave them two pidgeys cuddling on a tree branch (one with a ribbon necklace and the other in a top hat) to give to them for the occasion. 🙂 Even though we did not have too many players, it was a nice, relaxing event. I even got to help two of my former middle schoolers make decks from scratch (one had his binder super organized) and Julie and I taught them how to play. We had a grand ole’ time!

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Our May one was to welcome in summer! It was a good-medium sized group, especially since most of my Poke Crew members were super late for some maypoke11reason! 0.o The Crew members wore leis, we had cookies Julie made, gave our youngest member, the Annihilator, a gift since she just graduated, and we had a water balloon throwing event! The kids each got four water balloons that Evan handed them and they got to throw them at any of our three targets: Brown, Tabby, or Alesha. They had a blast, especially our little three year old who would charge to Alesha to dunk her head! 😀 The kids were laughing and still talking about it to me later. ^_^ I am glad we can do things like this for them. We got to train a new trainer, meet some new ones, and I also have a championship match next time with my former co-worker.  😉

Our next one will be June 25th! There will be none in July due to me having to teaching College for Kids, but we will do one before school starts again in August (most likely the second Saturday).  We look forward to seeing everyone then!

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So, even though I am exceedingly busy as always, I wanted to tackle the task of making my own Lolita style dress. I was inspired by this little cherry hat I got at our local summer fair, Country Days, but I never found a good time or outfit to wear it with.  I got fabric a while ago and went to get some accessories (ribbon, lace, buttons).  On May 22nd, Tabby let me crash at her place and gave me sewing machine lessons. It had been 13 years since I had used one! For my first time, I think it went okay. Sadly, I only got about 85% of the skirt finished (it has three layers. I need to sew the final side, put in the waistband, and trim it with some lace). I did cut out the heart shaped apron top and straps to at least get a little more ahead last night. MAN! I did not realize how easy it was to get your bobbin and thread tangled or how jacked up your back would become! It was so sore for over a week. Still, it was an adventure. I want to finish the cosplay this Sunday for Cosplacon. It will probably look awful, but at least I can say I made something myself.  Afterwards, when Brown and Derrick were off, we went on a double date to get Yum-Yum noodles at our Shoguns restaurant. We were the last ones there, but we had great service.sewingattempt1

The title of the outfit is: Hello Kitty Picnic. =^_^= So, lots of reds, pinks, cupcakes, strawberries, cherries, and, of course, Hello Kitty! ^_^

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On May 24th and 25th, Derrick and I went to St. Louis to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. Our anniversary is officially on June 18th, but that is always the week of Cosplacon (a Saturday this year; Friday last year) and we love the event, but we figured five years was a big deal and, no offense to our loved ones, but we can’t really be alone at Cosplacon. ^_^ So, we planned this little two day trip.

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We went to the zoo and history museum on Tuesday, making good time for both.  At the zoo, we were there around 10:00 and stayed until 4:00. I was in charge of buying all the food and admission tickets. We got the wristbands, which was a great deal (they were $13 each, but with all the stuff we did, we would have spent $25 each without them, so they more than paid for themselves).  I, sadly, wore a dress, trying to be cute (with a hat. With my high ANA, I am not supposed to be in the sun longer than 10 minutes without sun screen. I, of coarse, put some on and bug spray since bugs love me, but I still did not want to risk it).  Because of this, I could not ride the merry-go-round, the one thing I really wanted to ride. 🙁  I was so sad. I also got super sick from my hernia on these two days, unable to eat more than like three bites then intense pain for over an hour and getting nervous during the ride did not help. I felt like I ruined our trip, but Derrick was kind to me. It was a nice, cloudy day for it. We were early enough where the penguins and stingrays were not too crowded at all (they even had two baby stingrays! Derrick loves to pet them. They had a shark too that liked Derrick, but we could not touch them since it was in mating season. The penguins were getting fed when we went and two of them kept fighting. I told Derrick they were married most likely and he laughed). We got to see finik foxes (so kawaii) and jellyfish! There were elephants and giraffes (who DO have dreams), and a new butterfly house that was so neat. We rode the tram three times because I was getting sick, but it was a cool way to see the sights. It was a great time! ^_^ Expensive food wise, but still fun.

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OH! I did meet two new friends: this little boy with an elephant backpack came over when we were looking at the elephants. He was so excited, holding an elephant figure. I noticed he had some medical device in his backpack attached to him and his head was shaved. 🙁 I told him I liked his backpack and he showed me his figure. I asked him what the name of his friend was, and he said, “I don’t know.” I told him that was a name I had never heard of. He then told me that elephants have trunks and we saw one picking up in the rocks. I asked him what elephants ate. He thought deeply and then said, “Grass.” I asked, “Are you sure it’s not cookies?” He blinked at me, confused, and said, “Noooo…but, circus elephants eat peanuts!” Just as we mentioned there was a baby hiding behind its momma, the momma moved so the little boy could see him and he was so happy. We started talking about big elephant ears before Derrick and I gave him our front row looking spot to venture onward. Just as we stepped away, a little blond boy zoomed out of no where, had the biggest grin on his face, and asked, “May I have some popcorn, please?” I was so confused on where he came from that it took me a while to register I had a big bag of popcorn in my hand. I am so used to responding at school with, “We have to wash our hands first,” that I had to stop myself. Derrick shrugged, and was about to tell him we had to ask his parents, when his mom came running over, apologizing. I told her if my hands weren’t dirty and she was okay with, it would not have bugged me. I did tell him where I got it from and he dashed away. All the parents near us were laughing. I met a little two-year-old girl too who dropped her pink zoo hat. Mom didn’t notice. I went over to her, and asked her, “Hello there, princess. You seemed to have lost your hat. Can I put it back on you?” Mom was super nice and thanked me, telling the little girl to blow me kisses. She stuck her lips out like a fish and made kissing noises. It was so precious! =D Derrick grabbed my arm and told me firmly, but smiling, “I can’t take you anywhere, can I? I told you not to talk to kids!” I told him, pouting, “I didn’t talk to her; I helped.” Still, I seem to make friends easily. 😉

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We left at four and went to the history museum across the park. I love this place, but Derrick was getting tired and they only had one changed section: black dresses throughout the ages. I took many pictures and Derrick was so cute, going through which ones would look best on me and designing one for me on a computer interactive section they had, right on many of the choices. He took it so seriously! 😀 It was fun to see, but we were only there an hour.

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We went to our hotel, a super fancy place that gave us free bottles of water (hey! Gotta enjoy the small things), relaxed and unpacked, watched “Chopped” on TV, then went to the restaurant downstairs attached to the hotel. It was a nice place and the service and food was good, but my lord! It was SLOOOOOW! We were there for over an hour and 45 minutes, 10 of it to give me change. There was hardly anyone there and they may have been short staffed, but it sort of made it less fun for me. I was up sick for an hour after this and slept, zoned, for an hour or two with “Chopped” in the background. The room DID dry our my stuffy nose I had had for a few days.

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On Wednesday, we ate our free breakfast (it was an impressive spread and all looked good, but tasted genetic, not bad, just…normal, like other nice hotels I have been to. They must have a shared recipe. I didn’t each much since I still felt bad).  We went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, one of my favorite places ever. Other than us parking really far away, it was a lovely day for it: overcast, although I was told by everyone it was going to rain. It was steady, with private school graduations everywhere, but still fairly calm for such a big place (that is why I wanted a weekday before Memorial Day).  Not too much had changed, but most of the flowers were in full bloom. I still played in the water. It’s more fun with Miles, but it was still relaxing. Derrick was fairly tired this day, but he did enjoy himself. I forgot my quarters for the Koi fish and did not realize I could have gotten a bag of feed for 60 cents at the gift shop! GRRRR! I couldn’t win! >.< The Japanese gardens are stunning as ever! <3 I kept reading it was going to rain around noon, a super fast shower. The wind picked up right after we left the Japanese gardens at 11:45 (got to the place at 10:30) and then when we went to the Agricultural gardens next door, it started pouring at 11:50 put of no where. Luckily, we ran and found a little wooden enclosure nearby where we could see the rain, chatting with the locals. It was buckets, but it stopped after three minutes; no slowing down, just ceased. After that, it was a tad muggy, but all was well. We walked the whole gardens, somehow, while resting and taking our time, in two hours! 0.o I have NO clue how that happened!

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We decided to head home early, going to a Cracker Barrel about 25 minutes away. I got some tote bags I REALLY needed on sale, 3 for $5, and they are super kawaii and nice. OH! I did get three stuffed animals at the zoo, of coarse (my tradition is every time I go to a zoo, I have to get at least one stuffed animal, a different one.  I got a polar bear, a baby stingray, and an otter this time. I got silver chopsticks with cherry blossoms and pink butterflies at the top from the Botanical gardens).  Then, we got home around 3:00, unpacked, watched Korra, and I slept for like…14 hours! I felt SO much better, unable to sleep well the past few weeks with my hernia, work, and my stuffed up nose.

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Derrick, you are the love of me life, the light that makes me shine and every day, I get flutters around you still. Thank you for being mine and happy five year anniversary! ^_^ Thanks for taking us to our ‘bookshelf’ too… 😉

On Sunday, we had a BBQ at Derrick’s parents’ house and with our good friends Tabby and Alesha (Brown came over for a bit after work).  It was nice chatting and being goofy outside and being with loved ones. Jolleen made Elk burgers, which was interesting. After we ate, I got sick…again, and had to sit up, so we watched Mythbusters re-runs. Everyone had some really sweet smelling watermelon, but I didn’t want to get worse. Still, it was great to be with everyone! ^_^

Sadly, on bitter news…we have a leak in our sink! Many of our towels were destroyed and some other cleaning products, from mold. But, it went into some of the other lower sinks and got some of my rare American Girls and Japanese cookbooks AND I get to throw away two of my lovely bento bags my Oneechan got me years ago, authentic ones from Japan! I am NOT HAPPY! >.<

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Socks is doing well! =^_^= It is hard to imagine that she will be two years old in a few weeks! I know when I was saying good-bye to my kindergarteners, they all wanted to pet Socks more than hug me good-bye. *Sighs* ^_- Poor baby has gotten a mild case of fleas. 🙁  We are trying to get rid of that, but other than her being overly loving and snuggly at times and whining about everything with her cute little meow, she is still my box and Amazon paper obsessed, sitting for a treat, goofy little girl that is so precious to us. We love her so very much. =) She HAS finally started sleeping in her bed, after us only trying for a year and a half! ^_^

Upcoming:

Like always, I do have a lot going on beyond my new job and the normal College for Kids Prep…

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On June 14th, two days before we leave for Cosplacon, I am helping the Events Director at the local library do an Anime Night for Teens. I got to advertise a lot when I went to visit FMS, and getting it hyped-up. ^_^ They will be watching “Spirited Away,” making candy sushi, sampling new manga the library got and discussing some I have brought, drawing manga with drawing books I have, a cosplay event, training how to play the Pokémon TCG, and more otaku awesomeness! It will be a grand time! ^_^

I had a goal in May: to read all my mangas by the end of the month, and I just made it! ^_^ However, I have more entertainment goals for myself:

  • 102 episodes of anime to finish by August 10th.
  • 10 books to finish by August 14th.

Wish me luck! 😀

And now, time for my Summer Plans (other than the needed Organizing my files and office):

  • June 1st- Drive-In movie,
  • June 3rd- Country Days,
  • June 5th- Making cosplay,
  • Both in June presently- At least two specialist appointments (one for hernia and one for ANA),
  • Early June- Car getting new belts and hoses (will clean out majorly before that; poor thing needs it),
  • June 14th- Public Library Teen Night
  • June 15th- Anniversary day and gifts with Derrick/Father’s Day gifts for dad,
  • June 16th to 19th- Cosplacon,
  • June 21st- Scholastic Summit for librarians
  • June 25th- June Pokémon Event
  • July 4th- Fourth of July
  • July 11th to 29th- College for Kids
  • Early August- Pokémon Event
  • Girl’s Writing Sleepover and game night
  • Day with Missa
  • Dinner with the Mahans
  • Antiquing and Family Adventures

Working on…

  • Spirit Vision edits and website updates,
  • Lesson plan making for CFK,
  • Lesson plan making and classroom moving,
  • Moon Panda Power Recordings,
  • Max-Con prep (the con is in September)
  • Fallen Star Dust Blog Tour in the fall?

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Well, that’s all for now folks! Heat up a chimichanga, dance a ballet to the sounds in your head, and catch the dust particles that block your dreams! See you guys soon! 😀

Cape Comic Con pictures:

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